Articles Tagged with: Finasteride

Does Finasteride Cause Cancer?

Does Finasteride Cause CancerFinasteride (brand name Propecia®) is known among male hair loss sufferers as a powerful prescription medication capable of ceasing hair loss. Like all prescription medicines, Propecia is not without side effects. Most know that the medication may cause sexual side effects for the men who take it regularly. But are men also at risk of developing breast cancer?

Physicians have long prescribed Finasteride, and in some cases Dutasteride, to treat symptoms of enlarged prostate in men, or benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). As a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, the medicine also helped to cease hair loss in subjects by warding off the chemical reaction that researchers believe causes hair follicles to stop producing hair. However, post-marketing data demonstrated some risk. Specifically, rare reports indicated that male breast cancer were a side effect of Finasteride treatment. For this reason, among others, Finasteride was considered dangerous to prescribe to women. Today, most hair transplant surgeons still steer women clear of Finasteride medication, recommending alternative surgical and non-surgical treatments for hair loss.

Despite rare reports of male breast cancer in men who took the popular BPH/ hair loss drug, the FDA approved Finasteride as a treatment for male pattern baldness in 1997. Now, nearly 15 years later, a study published in the Journal of Urology indicates that there is no link between Finasteride and breast cancer in men.

Study Finds No Link Between Finasteride and Breast Cancer

A new study published in the May 2013 Journal of Urology has men who take Finasteride breathing a long anticipated sigh of relief. According to the study, there appears to be no link between the onset of breast cancer and 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, like Finasteride (Propecia®).

The finding is the result of over 10 years of study, during which researchers identified 339 men ages 40-85 who had breast cancer. Approximately 20 controls were identified per subject, amounting to more than 6,500 total. Using those controls, researchers were able to calculate the rate ratio for male breast cancer during regular exposure to 5-alpha reductase inhibitors using conditional logistic regression.

Summarizing the results of the landmark study, researchers report, “No statistically significant associations were observed between 5-alpha reductase inhibitors and breast cancer.”

Side Effects of Finasteride

Finasteride still has side effects, however. Clinical trials indicate that men who take Finasteride might suffer from a number of sexual side effects, including:

  • Loss of sex drive/ decreased libido
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Decreased ejaculate volume

Notably, Finasteride side effects tend to fade and disappear entirely once the drug is no longer taken. In a 2012 study, researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that the negative side effects of Finasteride might persist long after use is discontinued. That study was conducted with Propecia®, specifically, and it is important to note that the sample size was very small, consisting of fewer than 100 subjects. Follow-up studies are needed to assess the danger of long-term side effects.

For more information, readers are invited to visit our What is Finasteride reference.

What is Finasteride?

A professional review of Finasteride side effects

What is FinasterideWe’re excited to announce that Dr. Nusbaum and Dr. Rose have been published in the August 2013 edition of the Facial Plastic Surgery Clinics of North America Hair Restoration review. We congratulate our lead surgeons, and welcome Miami residents to get a brief look at one of the topics they covered in great detail: Treating hair loss with Finasteride, also known by the brand name Propecia®.

More on this publication. Published quarterly, “The Clinics” gathers reviews and testimony from the nation’s leading cosmetic and reconstructive surgeons on a variety of medical and surgical disciplines. Disciplines are many and varied, spanning 59 unique areas including Veterinary, Dental, and Nursing.

The Clinics is widely recognized as a leading reference for surgical professionals and residents/ prospective cosmetic surgery patients who desire current information on new treatment protocols. Published by surgeons, the reviews are widely recognized for providing in-depth coverage, unparalleled detail, and expert insight.

About Finasteride

Finasteride is a leading non-surgical option for the treatment of male pattern baldness. Most patients recognize Finasteride by the brand name Propecia®.

When comparing different treatment methods, the claim-to-fame of Finasteride is that it helps patients maintain existing hair. In studies, it has been shown that about 82% of men who begin taking Finasteride maintain their original follicle count. A smaller but sizable number of men (64%) experienced re-growth of hair after about 2 years of continued use.

One of the primary causes of male pattern baldness is DHT, a synthesized version of testosterone that becomes more prevalent in males as they age. Over time, DHT causes a phenomenon known as hair miniaturization, which eventually causes baldness to progress.

How it works. Finasteride inhibits a critical enzyme needed to convert testosterone to DHT. With continued Finasteride dosage, DHT production is halted and baldness stops. Continued use of Finasteride may have side effects, however, as detailed below.

Side Effects of Finasteride

Finasteride has undergone clinical evaluations for both safety and effectiveness. And while some experience success when using it to treat pattern baldness, others experience Finasteride side effects. Most commonly, side effects of this hair loss pill include:

  • Decreased libido
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Decreased ejaculate volume

Can Women Use Finasteride to Treat Hair Loss?

At this time, women cannot use Finasteride. Women who want to treat hair loss have the following options available, some of which are surgical procedures:

Non-surgical procedures:

  • Minoxidil (Rogaine®)
  • Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)
  • Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), though this treatment is most effective when used in conjunction with a surgical hair transplant.

Surgical procedures:

  • Strip Donor Hair Transplant
  • Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) / Follicular Isolation Technique (FIT) Transplant
  • Robotic Hair Restoration with the ARTAS®

Finasteride Reviews

A professional review of Finasteride reveals that the hair loss medication has clinical trials to support its effectiveness in treating symptoms of male pattern baldness. For additional reviews and information, visit this page on Finasteride reviews.

Please Note: The above links to Drugs.com, a third party website on which the opinions shared do not necessarily reflect those of our Institute. Always consult a licensed medical professional prior to starting, stopping, or changing your prescription medications.

Learn More About Finasteride at the Miami Hair Institute

At the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami, we offer numerous non-surgical hair loss treatment options including Propecia® (Finasteride), Rogaine® (Minoxidil), and exciting new Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) designed to stimulate follicular activity and hair growth.

To learn more about these clinically proven hair loss treatments, schedule a hair loss evaluation online or call our Institute directly at 1-877-443-9070.

Sources:

(i) Nusbaum, Bernard M.D., Rose, Paul M.D. Side Effects of Finasteride. Facial Plastic Surgery Clinics of North America. 2013 August; 337-338.

Can Rogaine® Cause Sexual Side Effects?

Can Rogaine® Cause Sexual Side Effects?In the fall of 2012, researchers at Johns Hopkins University made a startling discovery: Finasteride, known most commonly by the brand name Propecia®, appeared to cause long term sexual side effects for a number of males who were using the prescription medication to treat hair loss.

Prior to the study, it was well-documented that Finasteride could cause a number of sexual side effects during use. After the study, however, a small body of research indicated that males who take the popular hair loss medication could suffer with sexual side effects long after use was discontinued. The study analyzed only a small number of patients, and many hair loss professionals believe rigorous follow-up studies are needed to better understand the long term side effects of Finasteride. Nevertheless, the study sparked concern among men and women who suffer with hair loss, particularly those who currently use a non-surgical method of restoration.

Most recently, patients have begun to wonder if Minoxidil may cause sexual side effects. A topical solution, Minoxidil is most commonly known by the brand name Rogaine®. As explained by Hairlosslearningcenter.org, there is no data to support such concerns:

While there are a number of cases of men reporting sexual dysfunction from Rogaine (minoxidil), there has been no scientific data gathered to support this as a side effect and it is not listed by the manufacturer as a known side effect.

Things to Know About Rogaine®

Rogaine is a brand name version of Minoxidil, an anti-hypertensive drug that is used to treat pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia). With daily topical application, Minoxidil has demonstrated effectiveness in converting short, fine hairs into fully developed “regular” hair. Though it is unclear exactly how Minoxidil achieves this feat, the drug demonstrates a general ability to increase the “growth phase” of hair, normalizing the hair follicle while promoting wholesome growth. Unlike Propecia, Rogaine can be used by both men and women who suffer with pattern baldness.

Shortcomings of Rogaine

Hair loss is a gradual process for those who suffer with pattern baldness. For these individuals, hair becomes thinner and finer each time it progresses through its natural growth phase– a cycle that dermatologists estimate happens about 10-20 times over a person’s lifetime. Eventually, hair may cease to grow. Because Rogaine may effectively “normalize” the growth process, individuals may slow the progression of pattern baldness and, in many cases, stop it entirely.

For a small percentage of patients, Rogaine may help to grow new hair. Most people who use Rogaine, however, will not be able to achieve this goal. In fact, Rogaine is known best for preventing additional hair loss while nurturing thinning hair.

Advanced Hair Loss Solutions: Alternatives to Rogaine®

For many individuals, it may not be practical to achieve hair restoration goals with Rogaine only. For example, it would be very difficult for an individual to combat hair loss along the hairline and/or crown of the head through topical Rogaine applications. For these individuals, there are a number of other effective treatment options available:

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). FUE hair transplants harvest healthy hair from the patient’s scalp and transplant it to the area that is thinning, shedding, or balding.

Follicular Isolation Technique (FIT). Co-created by Dr. Rose, the FIT procedure implements a small punch instrument to remove individual follicular units without ever creating a linear scar.

ARTAS® Hair Restoration. The ARTAS System is a physician-guided robotic system that enables surgeons at the Hair Transplant Institute to perform Follicullar Unit Extraction (FUE) procedures with unparalleled precision, consistency, and accuracy.

To learn more about these techniques, readers are invited to visit our article on the Evolution of Hair Loss Treatment.

Seek An Evaluation with a Team You Can Trust

At the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami, our team is comprised of South Florida’s finest hair transplant surgeons, nurses, microscopists, and technicians. We understand the challenges that hair loss presents to personal, social, and professional life, and we are here to help.

Learn more about hair loss evaluations online, or call our Institute directly at 1-877-443-9070.

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